President Jiang Zemin and other mainland officials who attended the handover anniversary had a hotel bill of more than $1 million for three days - and the taxpayer is picking up the tab. It had been suggested that the Harbour Plaza Hotel, Hunghom, was offered free by Li Ka-shing, whose company owns and manages it. However, it was revealed yesterday that the Chief Secretary's office paid the $1.07 million hotel bill as a 'courtesy'. The group took 141 rooms with an average rate of more than $2,500 per night. A government spokesman said: 'The choice of hotel was worked out by the host and also the visiting parties.' Other expenses included: Rental of six armoured-plated Mercedes-Benz saloons at $2.16 million; The July 1 banquet for 1,100 guests at the Convention Centre that cost $1.1 million; and Catering services for the airport opening ceremony, provided by the Regent Hotel at a cost of $430,328. Total expenses for the celebration were budgeted at $16 million.